'A Dream within a Dream' is a rhyming poem that focuses on human perception, time and life. The poem was originally written by Edgar Allan Poe and published in 1849. This poem tests the proficiency of the quality of time, together with its perception and its effects. The author shows that time is moving so fast, and human beings have no power or control over it. The poem goes into the depth of feeling low in spirit and also feeling so despaired. Therefore it has been divided into sections to evaluate the mood, motivations, and intensive devastations of what he went through in his life.
The poem's structure appears to be altered from the conventional ones. It is a juxtaposition of iambic tetrameter and anapest kind of poem strewn into the entire poem. Because of this structure, the poems appear to be dreamy, and at the same time, it points things out, taking out a huge turn with the main case of the dreams (Ortlieb, and Cheek, 94). The poem mainly uses a regular rhyme scheme which means it can be seen as A-A-A-B-B-C-C-D-D-E-E-F-F-G-G-H-H-H-H-I-I. As such, the poem pair of successive lines and typical rhymes makes it a couplet. In addition to that, the two verses seem to rhyme and therefore give the entire poem some proper balance.
Its poetic form is also kind of an erratic form. This is evident from the fact that each of the verses in the poem contain three feet. For example, 'How few! Yet how they creep' is an example of a part of a verse. In the same way, the other verses in the poem are created in the same manner (Poe). The writer implements an anapestic rhythm to the poem which goes well with its regular form that eventually works to make the audience feel what he did. However, in this case, the writer does not make references in its entirety.
The poem shows that the narrator is not ready to part ways with his lover. This is because it feels too disorienting to him and makes him wonder about hope and its premises. Although he grieved so much, according to the poem, at the end of the time, he came to peace with the reality that the lover is gone and not coming back. In the second stanza, the writer completely changes his tone from the first one (Poe). He imagines himself there on a beach bathing in the sun rays and creating some imaginary sea waves striking the shore loudly with sand. He seems to be mourning about time, which is not a behavior that men have. A careful analysis of the poem provides the evidence of personification as well as of the use of metaphors. For instance, the author talks about ‘deep’ when referring to the ocean and ‘the sand’ when referring to time.
The writer seems to be helpless at the mercy of time since time and tide wait for no one. He mourns in lots of anguish and sorrow then goes ahead to speak to God. The writer asks him to stop the time for a while so that he can save the moment in all its glory. He was having an illusion of the wife that he had in his life (Burns, 227). The sand he used in the poem represented the allusion of the woman, and the roaring surf could be representing the reality that hits hard on his dreamy landscape.
The theme of this poem is mourning. The writer is weeping due to the abrupt loss of his wife throughout the poem. It matters because it shows us how the author feels about the whole situation of losing his wife, how he thinks throughout the situation, and the decisions that he will finally make just because of how he is feeling (Poe). According to philosophers, the poem is referred to as, 'dream argument' and 'dream hypotheses.' They are trying to show us that in the world, all the existing life is an illusion of sorts, and reality does not exist.
Despite all the philosophers' thoughts, the writer was speaking to God, asking him to stop the time to get that feeling of his wife back at the moment that he is in. This shows it has a religious aspect to it. The essence of this poem is pure melancholy that is mostly concerned with the feelings of hope and helplessness in mankind. The poet was trying to show that life is an ongoing process of people and things coming and going together with nothing is permanent. May it be happiness or sorrow. Regardless of all that, the writer is still full of hope. He, therefore, had to accept that human beings will always live in a dream-like state and will always be encapsulated in this reality.
The intended audience in the poem is the wife whom the writer lost in his life. In the first stanza, he asks for a kiss on his brow as farewell. This is an act that indicates the parting of ways between them and which seems to be their permanent reality (Burns, 225). He goes ahead to describe how he was living a dreamy life that ended abruptly and finally describes how time flew so fast when with her in his dreamy affair, which ended up abruptly. Therefore he eventually ends up wondering whether time truly is a measurable element or it is just a figment of human imagination
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In conclusion to everything, it appears that the experiences that humans get from their senses are mostly hallucinations and not the intense measures that they are expected to be. Most of these experiences cannot be measured and even if one think they have broken free of them, there appears to be a primary aspect to it which means they continut living in this dream. According to Poe, all human existence is nothing more than part of an elaborate dream that is compartmentalized and measured in small doses when being given out to man. As such, what he thinks matters at that moment is what is true and nothing more.